1835 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election


1835 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

← 1832 November 3, 1835 (1835-11-03) 1838 →
  Joseph Ritner-Governor of Pennsylvania.JPG George Wolf.jpg
Nominee Joseph Ritner George Wolf Henry A. P. Muhlenberg
Party Anti-Masonic Independent Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 94,023 65,804 40,586
Percentage 46.9% 32.8% 20.3%

Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election Results by County, 1835.svg
County Results
Ritner:      30-40%      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%
Wolf:      30-40%      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%
Muhlenberg:      30-40%      40-50%

Governor before election

George Wolf

Elected Governor

Joseph Ritner

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1835 was among three candidates. Incumbent Governor George Wolf ran as an Independent Democrat. In the end Joseph Ritner won the election and became Pennsylvania's only Anti-Masonic governor.

Democratic schism

In March 1835 factionalism came to a head in Pennsylvania's dominant Democratic party as it convened at Harrisburg to nominate its candidate for governor. The supporters of the incumbent Wolf and those of Lutheran pastor Henry Muhlenberg, known respectively as the "Wolves" and the "Mules", deadlocked and adjourned to reconvene at Lewistown in May. The Wolf delegates, however, remained at Harrisburg and in a rump convention renominated the governor. The outraged "Mules" then proceeded as scheduled to Lewistown to nominate Muhlenberg.[1]

The resulting split Democratic vote enabled the Anti-Masons, with Whig support, to finally elect Ritner, who had lost the previous two elections.[1]

Tension between the "Wolves" and the "Mules" lasted until the mid-1840s.[2]


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1835[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Anti-Masonic Joseph Ritner 94,023 46.91
Independent Democratic George Wolf 65,804 32.83
Democratic Henry A. P. Muhlenberg 40,586 20.25
Total votes 200,413 100.00


  1. ^ a b Klein, Philip S; Hoogenboom, Ari Arthur (2010). A History of Pennsylvania. Penn State Press. pp. 146–147.
  2. ^ Hall, Kermit (1979). The Politics of Justice: Lower Federal Judicial Selection and the Second Party System, 1829-1861. University of Nebraska Press. p. 37.
  3. ^ Miller, Herman P; Baker, W. Harry, eds. (1911). Smull's Legislative Handbook and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania. p. 542.